Jon Chidester, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
DURANT – No. 17/19 SWOSU Women’s Basketball outscored Southeastern, 26-9, in the third quarter after trailing by four points at halftime and eventually went on to defeat the Savage Storm, 84-80, on Saturday in Durant.
After being outscored by a bucket in both quarters, the Lady Dawgs came out of the locker room with a fire lit underneath them and outscored the Savage Storm 26-9 in the quarter to hold a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The defense, after struggling to get stops in the first half, limited SE to just 1-for-9 shooting (11.1 percent) in the third quarter and held the Savage Storm to under 40 percent shooting in the second half overall.
A Hailey Tucker three-ball gave the Lady Bulldogs a 16-point lead as the fourth quarter began, but Southeastern just wouldn’t go away. The Savage Storm began their trek back into the ballgame and manage to trail by just five points by the time the media timeout came around at the midway point of the final quarter.
A quick 7-0 run following a Bethany Franks free throw, an and-one layup by Hayden Priddy, and a Savannah Gray deep ball pushed SWOSU’s lead back to a 12-point margin with just over three minutes to play. But again, Southeastern just wouldn’t bow out.
Back-to-back threes from SE cut their deficit in half and with 1:19 left in the game, the Savage Storm were within one point following another made three-point shot. Back on the other end of the court, Tyra Aska was fouled and connected on both of her free throws which pushed the SWOSU lead back to three with 59 seconds left.
From that point on, neither team scored another field goal as Southeastern missed both their three point attempts to tie with 47 seconds and again with three seconds left in separate possessions. Meanwhile, the Lady Dawgs made just enough of their free throws to keep their lead at a minimum of three points to avoid a potential dagger three-point shot. Following the missed three point shot by SE with three seconds on the clock, Hayden Priddy was fouled and made 1-of-2 from the line to finally ice the game for SWOSU.
Tucker completed the game two points shy of tying her career best scoring number, finishing with 29 points and eight rebounds. Franks tallied her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Aska rounded out SWOSU’s starting five in double figures with 13 herself. Priddy finished with six points and a team high six assists and Gray chipped in six as well by knocking down a pair of threes.
As a team, SWOSU took care of the basketball and committed just five turnovers on the day – a season low. The offense finished 32-of-68 (47.1 percent) from the floor overall and went 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Lady Bulldogs (13-1, 8-0 GAC) will be busy next week, taking on three conference opponents in six days. SWOSU will start the week off at home against rival Northwestern on Monday at 5:30 pm. Wednesday, the Dawgs will welcome Southern Nazarene to town before hitting the road to Oklahoma Baptist to wrap up the week on Saturday.